Legal procedures that shall be followed when filing a labor complaint
In this article, we highlight the legal procedures used to file a case against the employer in the event of a dispute between an employer and the employee that could not be settled amicably. then, the employee shall file a complaint to the Ministry of labor, the Ministry will set a date and will summon the employer and attempt to settle the dispute amicably, if the dispute could not be solved, as a sequence, the complaint shall be referred to the concerning court.
what are the labor rights that should be demanded when filing a labor complaint?
An employee may demand the employer, including but not limited to the following:
Salaries arrears, Severance pay, Annual leave, Arbitrary dismissal,
Over time, Repatriation and Bonuses and other compensations.
The employer may also be demanded to grant a certificate of expertise for the time the worker spent working for him, the following is a detailed explanation of those rights:
Firstly: Salaries arrears:
Salaries should be paid on a working day and at the workplace, in the lawfully
circulating national currency. Employees hired on a yearly or monthly remuneration are to be paid at least once a month. All other employees are to receive their remuneration at least once every two weeks.
As stated in the Article 58 of the Emirate labor law: Evidence of payment to workers of their due wages, irrespective of their amount or nature, shall not be admissible unless it is in the form of documentary proof, admission or oath. Any agreement to the contrary shall be null and void, albeit made before the date this Law comes into force.
Nor may an employee be obliged to buy food or goods from specific shops, or products manufactured by the employer.
Is it permissible for an employer to deduct sums from the employee’s remuneration??
No amount of money may be deducted from a worker’s wage in respect of private
claims, except in the following case:
1- Repayment of loans or money advances paid to the worker more than his
entitlements, provided that the amount deducted in this case shall not exceed
10 percent of his wage.
2- Contributions that the workers are required by law to make from their wages,
towards social security and insurance schemes.
3- The worker’s contributions to a provident fund or repayment of loans due
4- Contributions towards any welfare scheme or in respect of any other
privileges or services provided by the employer and approved by the labor
5-Deductions may also be applied in case of fines imposed on the employee due to committing offenses.
6- Any debt exacted in the execution of a court ruling, provided, however, that the
deduction made in execution thereof should not exceed one-quarter of the
wage due to the worker. Where there are several debts or creditors, the
maximum deduction shall be half the worker’s wage, which shall be divided
pro-rata among the creditors, after payment of any legal alimony to the extent
of one-quarter of the worker’s wage.
can the employer deduct an amount of the worker’s salary in case of loss, damage or destruction of machines or tools caused by the same?
Where a worker, either through his fault or as a result of violating the employer’s
instructions, causes a loss, damage or destruction to any tools, machines, products or
materials that are owned by or in the custody of the employer, the employer may
deduct from the worker’s wage such amount as may be necessary for repair or
restoration provided that the amount so deducted shall not exceed five days’ wage for
each month. However, the employer, through the concerned labor department, may
request the competent court for permission to deduct a higher amount if the worker
has money or any other source of income.
In case the employee receives a monthly payment, can the employer transfer him today pay without his consent?
An employer may not transfer a monthly-paid worker, without his written consent, to
the daily, weekly, hourly or piecemeal paid category.
the end of service pays:
Article 132 of the Emirate Status law stipulates:
A worker who has completed one or more years of continuous service shall be entitled
to severance pay at the end of his employment. The days of absence from work without pay shall not be included in calculating the period of service. The severance pay shall be calculated as follows:
- 21 days’ wage for each of the first five years of service.
- 30 days’ wage for each additional year of service provided always that the aggregate amount of severance pay should not exceed two year’s wage.
Provided that the total remuneration does not exceed two year’s pay.
And a worker shall be entitled to severance pay for any fraction of a year he served, provided that he has completed one year of continuous service as stated in the article 133 from the labor federal law.
the year proportional to the time he worked provided that he has completed
the end of service remuneration is calculated on the basis of last entitled wage for employees who receive their salary per month, week or day, and on the basis of average daily wage stipulated in Article (57) of this law for those who receive their wages on piecemeal.
The severance payable to the worker, in the event of his death, will result in his/her rightful claimants.
In what cases a worker is unentitled to his severance pay?
1-Where a worker under a definite term contract abandons his employment at his own initiative before the expiry of his contract period, he shall not be entitled to severance
pay unless his continuous period of service exceeds five years.
A worker shall forfeit entitlement to his entire severance pay in any of the following
- If he is dismissed from service for any of the reasons specified in Article 120
hereof or if he abandons his employment to avoid being dismissed in
accordance with that Article.
- If he abandons the employment of his own accord, otherwise than in either of
the two cases specified in Article 121 hereof, without notice (in the case of
indefinite term contracts) or before completing five years of continuous
service (in case of definite term contracts).
Where a worker under an indefinite term contract abandons his work at his own
initiative after a continuous service of not less than one year and not more than three
years, he shall be entitled to one-third of the severance pay provided for in the
preceding article. Such a worker shall be entitled to two-thirds of the said severance
pay if his continuous service exceeds three years up to five years, and to the full severance pay if it exceeds five years.
The annual leaves and occasions during which the employee is entitled an official full pay leave
Each worker shall be entitled to leave with full pay on the following occasions:
- New Year’s Day (Higra): one day.
- New Year’s Day (Gregorian): one day.
- Lesser Bairam: two days.
- Greater Bairam and Eve: three days.
- Birthday of Prophet Mohammed: one day.
- Al Isra and Al Mi’raj: one day;
- National Day: one day.
The employee must be granted an annual leave each year of service as follows:
- Two days for each month if the employee’s service is more than 6 months and less than a year.
- Thirty days per annum if the employee’s service exceeds one year.
In the event of termination of the employee’s service he shall be entitled to an annual
leave for the fractions of the last year of service.
Can the employer determine the start date of the employee’s leave?
the employer may determine the start date of the annual leave and may decide when necessary to divide the leave in two parts at the most, except the juvenile leave than may not be divided.
when shall the employee receive his pay for the annual leave?
The employer must pay the employee his full entitled pay in addition to the approved leave pay, before the commencement of the annual leave
is the employee entitled to compensation for his work during holidays and rest days?
Where the working interest must put a worker on duty during public holidays or days off in respect of which he is entitled to full or partial pay, he shall be granted substitute leave in respect of such days, plus 50 percent of his wage. If he is not granted substitute leave, his employer shall pay him 150 percent of his basic wage in respect of the days worked.
A worker who contracts an illness that is not a work-related injury shall report his illness within a maximum of two days; the employer shall thereupon take the necessary measures to have him medically examined immediately to verify his illness.
when can the employee ask for sick leave?
- The employee is not entitled to any paid sick leave during the probationary period
- If the employee falls sick after spending more than three months following the completion of the probationary period in continuous service, he becomes entitled to sick leave, not more than 90 days either continuous or intermittent for each year of service, calculated as follows:
- The first fifteen days with full pay.
- The next thirty days, with half pay.
- The subsequent period, without pay.
if illness results from the misconduct of the employee such as using alcohol or narcotics, the employee is not entitled to pay for his sick leave.
The employer may terminate the services of an employee who fails to return to his work after the exhaustion of his paid leaves, in this case, the employee is entitled to his gratuity under the provisions of the Labor Law.
In the event of the employee resignation from service because of illness before the end of the first 45 days of the sick leave and the Government Medical Officer or the physician appointed by the employer approves the causes of resignation, the employer must pay the employee his remuneration due for the period remaining from the first 45 days aforementioned
can an employee get leave if he wants to perform a pilgrimage?
the employee is entitled to a special leave without pay for the performance of pilgrimage for once through the entire of his service with the employer, and this leave will not be counted among other leaves and cannot be more than 30 days.
Is it permissible for a worker to work for another employer during his vacation?
During his annual or sick leave, the worker may not work for another employer, if the employer proves this, he has the right to terminate the worker’s services without warning and to be deprived of his wages for the duration of the leave.
Can the employer dismiss the employee or serve him a dismissal notice during his leave?
The employer may not dismiss the employee or give notice of dismissal during his leaves stipulated in this section.
4- the right of repatriation:
Article 131 of the Labor Law stipulates:
Upon expiry of the contract, the employer shall bear the cost of the worker’s repatriation
to his point of hire or to any other point that was mutually agreed upon. Where a
worker joins another employer upon expiry of his contract, the latter shall bear the
cost of the worker’s repatriation at the end of his service.
Without prejudice to the foregoing, if the employer fails to return the worker or to pay his repatriation expenses, the competent authorities shall do so at the employer’s expense and may then recover any expenditure incurred in this connection by attachment.
Where the reason for the termination of the contract is attributable to the worker, his
repatriation shall be at his own expense if he has the means to pay.
Article 122 stipulates the following:
A worker’s service termination by his employer is deemed to be arbitrarily if the reason for termination is irrelevant to the work, particularly, a termination is regarded as arbitrary if it is because of a formal complaint filed by the worker to the competent authorities or a legal case raised against the employer that proved to be valid.
Article 123 stipulates that:
1-When a worker is arbitrarily dismissed, the competent court may order the employer to pay him a compensation that is to be assessed by the court with due regard to the nature of the work, the extent of damage sustained by the worker and the period of his service, and after investigating the work circumstances, provided that such compensation does in no case exceed the worker’s wage for three months, calculated on the basis of his last due wage.
2- provisions of the preceding paragraph do not prejudice the worker’s right to the gratuity he is entitled to and the compensation instead of notice stipulated in this law
6-extra working hours:
Article 65 of the Emirate Labor Law stipulates that the maximum normal working hours for adult workers is eight hours a day, or 48 hours a week.
Can the working hours be increased to more than 8 hours a day?
working hours may be increased to nine hours a day in commercial businesses, hotels, cafeterias, security services, and such other businesses as may be added by resolution of the Minister of Labour.
Can the working hours be reduced to less than 8 hours?
Yes, the daily working hours may be reduced in the case of strenuous or health-hazardous jobs by resolution of the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs.
The normal working hours are also reduced two hours during the month of Ramadan.
Is it calculated the periods spent by the worker in moving between his place of residence and the workplace?
Time spent by a worker in traveling between his residence and workplace shall not be included in his working hours. In this regard, Article 66 provides the following:
The daily working hours shall be so regulated that no worker shall work for more
than five successive hours without breaks – for rest, meals and prayer- amounting in
aggregate to not less than one hour. Such breaks shall not be included as part of the
However, in factories and workshops where work is organized in the form of
successive day and night shifts, and in processes where work has to continue
uninterrupted for technical and economic reasons, how breaks for
rest, meals and prayer are to be granted shall be specified in a resolution by the Minister.
Whereas Article 67 provides that:
Where the work circumstances require a worker to work more than the normal
number of hours, any period worked in excess shall be treated as overtime, for which
the worker shall receive the wage stipulated for his normal working hours, plus a
supplement of at least 25 percent of that wage.
Article 68 stipulates that:
Where the work circumstances require a worker to work overtime between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. the worker shall be entitled the established wage for his normal working hours, plus a supplement of not less than 50% of that wage.
While Article 69 provides that:
The number of hours of actual overtime shall not exceed two a day unless such work is essential for preventing a substantial loss or a serious accident, or eliminating or alleviating the impact of the latter.
Friday shall be the normal weekly rest day for all workers except the daily-paid. Where a worker has to be put on duty on that day, he shall be compensated with a substitute rest day or be paid his basic wage for his normal hours of work plus a supplement of at least 50 percent of that wage.
No worker other than a daily-paid shall be required to work more than two successive Fridays.
Article 72 also stipulates that:
The provisions of this Section do not apply to the following categories:
- Persons who hold senior positions with management or supervision responsibilities, if the incumbents in such positions have the powers of an employer over workers. These respected categories shall be specified by resolution of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
- The crew of marine vessels and seamen who work under special conditions of service because of the nature of their work, except for port workers working in stevedoring and related tasks.
Concerning Article 73, this Article provides that:
The employer shall put at the main entrances used by the workers, and in visible places at the workplace, a timetable showing the weekly day off, hours of work and rest periods applicable to all classes of workers, with notifying the competent labor department with a copy of this timetable.
Where the workplace is not observing the statutory weekly day off, the employer shall post up at the places referred to in the preceding paragraph a timetable showing the weekly rest day for each category of workers.
if the workplace does not follow the weekly day off the system, the employer shall put at the places referred to in the preceding paragraph a timetable showing the weekly rest day for each category of workers.
7- bonuses and other compensations:
In the case that a prior agreement was established with the worker to grant him a bonus, the worker may claim it when filing a complaint to the ministry of labor and provide the evidence of such agreement.
Can an employer retain the passport of his workers?
an employer may not retain his worker’s passport as the passport is considered a personality identification document owned by the worker, therefore, the employer has no right to retain it.
Where the employer refuses to return the worker’s passport, the former may claim it through the legal means like filing an order on a summary petition to claim the surrender of his passport
What are the main differences between limited period and unlimited period work contracts under the Federal Labor Law in the UAE no 8 for 1980?
As we seek to launch our careers or to move to another job, we always need to sign some documents like (offer letter, employment contract). It’s of high importance to be fully knowledgeable and understand the meanings of the offer letter and the type of the contract. Federal Labor Law in the UAE no 8 for 1980 distinguishes two types of employment contracts; definite and indefinite employment contracts. Generally speaking, a definite contract has a start date and conclusion date. Whereas an indefinite contract has only a start date.
In the case of indefinite term employment contract:
Under Article 117, both the employer or the worker may terminate an indefinite contract for a valid reason at any time following its conclusion, by sending the other party written notice at least 30 days before termination, or as agreed between the two parties.
As for a definite term contract:
As provided in article 115, if an employer terminates a definite term employment contract for
reasons other than those stipulated in Article (120) of this law, he shall be required to compensate the worker for any damage the latter sustains, as a result, provided that the amount compensation shall in no case exceed the total wage due for a period of three
months or the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter (as in the case of dismissal of the employee by the employer for any illegal reason, the employee may demand compensation of a period of 3 months) which we call (arbitrary dismissal)
2- under Article 116 when a contract is terminated by the worker for reasons other than those specified in
Article (121), he shall be required to compensate the employer for any damage the
latter sustains, as a result, provided that the amount of compensation shall not exceed
half a monthly wage for three months or the remaining period of the contract,
whichever is shorter.